So easy. So simple. That time I understood how vital what we say to our students is. We, teachers, have enormous power because what we say somehow becomes the truth or is seen as such. It’s an immense responsibility.
Here, in Turkey, the situation is even more complex. There are topics that you should never talk about with your students. Some time ago my adult group started a conversation about fasting during Ramadan. Most of the students were convinced that it’s a very healthy thing, the others refused to accept that. Eventually they asked me for an opinion and… I didn’t know what to say. Having two options: a) stating my opinion and b) refraining from taking part in the discussion, I chose the latter. Would they benefit from learning my point of view anyway?
One might call it cowardice or a form of escape but I think it was a wise decision. Sometimes it’s better to step down, listen and observe your students instead of spoon feeding them with ideas of your own. Sometimes less is more – that’s the lesson I learned from my students.
Anita Kwiatkowska holds a M.A. in English Philology from the University of Gdansk, Poland. She has been teaching kids and adults in Poland since 2001 and in 2007 she moved to Turkey. During the week she does her best teaching young learners. At the weekends she performs her duties as a Cambridge ESOL oral examiner, runs workshops for teachers or travels. She is a huge fan of Pedro Almodovar, loves face painting and sometimes indulges in Indian cuisine.